I honor my human in me

Hello! Happy Saturday! This last week has been a week of different situations strung together all reminding me of one very big thing…humility; the acceptance that I am human. I need to keep this at the forefront of my mind … Continue reading

Have a cookie!

Hello! Happy Monday and welcome to December, one of the fastest moving months! Woo! It seems as though Decemeber always seems to creep into November with the Christmas excitement around the corner; Christmas music playing on the radio stations, twinkling lights throughout the neighborhoods, and red and green filling up the shopping centers! After the Thanksgiving holiday passed, I couldn’t help myself…I went into our attic and pulled out the few Christmas decorations we have and decorated our home. It brings a whole new energy to the place and I completely dig it! We can’t get a tree this year because we have two adorable pups that are still under one year old and it would be tragic if they decided to eat a Christmas tree with ornaments for a late night snack, ha! So, we have a little tree up where they can’t reach that will due.
My favorite thing I like about this holiday is the inner child in me that it brings out to play. From holiday cookies to, snow angels, to gingerbread houses, to Christmas lights, to stocking stuffers, to flying reindeer, to the grinch that stole Christmas, to snowballs, to sledding, to family members overload, to yummy food, to the star on top of the tree, to ice skating…. I could go on forever!
My hope for you is to find your inner child throughout this holiday season and bring him or her out to play! Show up fully & get goofy! Some of my happiest memories come from the winter and the holidays!
Every Christmas holiday growing up my mom would create dozens of different kinds of cookies (she still does!). She would freeze them so they stayed fresh and create little plates filled with cookies for friends, family members, and sometimes complete strangers… Which was the best! One special cookie that my mom makes during the holidays and all year round, that all my friends would come to my house and eat up, are her chocolate chip cookies! They are the best and I have modified her recipe to be vegan, gluten-free and just as tasty for the holidays that are speedily approaching! You can never go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie!

Gluten-free/Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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You will need:
1 1/8 cup gluten free flour of your choice (Bob’s Red Mill has a great gluten free all purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (Earth Balance vegan spread)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 flax egg (1 tablespoons ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 package of your choice vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup gluten free oats (Bob’s Red Mill has some)

To Prepare:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare your flax egg by mixing the flax & water together to let it gel up a little bit. Mix all the ingredients together.
Form little balls (tablespoonful) out of your cookie dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or greased with vegan butter or a spray to prevent sticking.
Bake for 9-11 minutes and then take out of the over to let cool for a couple of minutes.
Serve with a glass of almond milk. Mmmmm…enjoy!

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And if your lucky… You’ll have some company who will want to lick up the excess cookie dough that got caught on the beaters and the remnants left in the bowl! That was always my favorite thing as a kid…sneaking the raw cookie batter which the biggest spoon possible and running into another room to eat it ferociously before I got caught! Lucky for you, this batter is vegan and completely edible in the raw!! 🙂

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Light & Love,
Amanda

Waking up & Pancakes!

Good Morning!

Did you feel your feet hit the ground this morning?

I know that most mornings, at the first stir of my two pups, I’m up and at ’em without even paying attention to the movements of my body or giving myself the chance to feel what is happening inside and outside my body. I just take off!

I have been making an effort to try to give myself that extra second to rise in the morning. To stretch out my limbs while still laying down. To notice my eyes blinking open after a night with them closed. To feel, really feel, the four corners of my feet hit the ground when I hang them off the side of my bed. When I do this, it makes a difference in the flow of my day. I hope that by blogging about this and throwing it out there into the universe the awareness of this will only deepen for me and I can start to make this an every morning practice.

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Now that you have let your body wake up properly, lets get cookin’! Breakfast! I have two different pancake recipes that I can’t wait to share with you!

The first pancake recipe is for sweet potato pancakes that were inspired by almondsandavocados.com. I made a few changes, but for the most part it is the same.

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 small sweet potato, cubed and steamed (you’ll need one cup out of this)

1 cup almond milk

1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil

2-3 teaspoons pure maple syrup

1 cup flour (whichever you prefer)

2 tablespoon almond flour (optional; I made my own by just processing a handful of almonds)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

1. Cut the sweet potato into small cubes. Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil and steam the sweet potatoes for 7-8 minutes, until tender. When finished, pour softened cubes into a bowl and mash up with a fork or spoon. Measure out 1 cup of the mashed sweet potatoes.

2. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick pan or skillet over medium heat.

3. Blend the cup of mashed sweet potato, almond milk, maple syrup, and coconut oil in blender or by hand works, too. Mix until smooth. Add the flour, almond flour (optional), baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and blend until combined. Allow the mixture to sit and thicken a bit and then mix again. The batter should be thick but pourable. Add more flour if too thin.

4. Pour the batter onto the heated pan/skillet. When some bubbles have formed and the batter begins to brown on the edges, then flip and cook until the bottom has browned. Repeat until no more  batter is left.

5. Serve with your favorite toppings. In my picture I used the few extra sweet potato cubes I had left over for my topping, along with a few sprinkles of cinnamon, unsweetened shredded coconut, and some drizzles of maple syrup.

Enjoy!

The second pancake recipe I found was from one of my favorite bloggers out there, celineeatsavocados.com. She is just fantastic! I love the energy her blogs bring into my life! 🙂

I give you Green Pancakes!

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They are healthy, simple, and GREEN!

You will need:

3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 ripe banana

1-2 handfuls of uncooked spinach

1 cup of flour (of your choice)

Prep:

1. Blend together spinach and apple sauce. Then add banana.

2. Pour mixture into bowl and add the flour, mixing together.

3. Heat up a non-stick skillet and add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil.

4. Pour batter, into the pancake size that you desire, onto the skillet once it is heated up. Flip after the edges start to brown. Once the edges and each side are a little browned, then you can serve.

5. Add any topping your little tummy desires! In my photo I just sprinkled some powdered sugar on top and used a little drizzle of maple syrup.

Enjoy!

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And last but not least, I give you a final pancake recipe that I have used before, which is more comparable to a traditional pancake. For this next one I used a pre-made gluten free pancake mix and added some extra love!

Gluten Free Vegan Chia Seed Pancakes

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I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pancake mix. I made the pancakes according to the pancake mix package, with some adjustments. Instead of the egg that it calls for on the packaging, I substituted a flag egg (1 tbsp of ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water. Mix and let combination gel up.) Then for the milk that the mix called for, I substituted almond milk. Then I added 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds. I combined all the ingredients until batter consistency formed. I heated a little oil on a non stick pan/skillet and poured the batter to my pancake size preference. I let the pancake brown a little on the edges and each side before serving. Then, I topped with fresh strawberries and a little maple syrup on top. Don’t forget to chew slow, taste ever bite, and enjoy!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Peanut Butter Tuesday

First and foremost, I have to give a shout out to my Miami Heat for winning the 2013 Finals! A week late but woo hoo! I was so stoked I did a head stand for them!

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A lot of hard work those guys put in and it seemed like the games were never going to end! Besides yoga, basketball is my favorite sport and was my life growing up in grade school and in high school! It is where I had fun, connected with teammates, got my exercise, expressed my emotions, learned how to play well with others, laughed, cried, celebrated, trumped my fears, learned hard work, and had an outlet. I do not play ball as much as I wish I would today, but yoga has been able to fill the same shoes now that basketball used to. A basketball court and a yoga mat are my two places where I feel so connected on every level!

And since we are on the subject of balls…ahem…basketballs…I figured that I would keep this next treat in line.

I give you, Peanut Butter Quinoa Balls

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These were SO incredibly simple & so yummy  I could not stand it. It was impossible for me to just have one…or two… 🙂

Ingredients:

1 cup puffed quinoa OR quinoa flakes OR oatmeal would prob work (I could not find the puffed quinoa, so I tried the flakes (as pictured) and they were perfect!)

1/2 cup peanut butter

3-4 table spoons agave OR maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

toppings: vegan chocolate chips, melted

coconut…I used the chocolate chips & just sprinkled coconut over the melted chocolate and they were yummy!

Mix together all of the ingredients. Put in the fridge for 15 mins. Form 12 balls. I was able to make 12 out of the measurements listed. Put back into the fridge for 15 more mins. Dip in melted chocolate, if desired. There you have it. Balls. 🙂

And now that we are on the topic of peanut butter…I will add one more delight to the mix. So, if you are not into the peanut butter balls, how about peanut butter cups!?! Ohhh yeah!

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I loved these, too! They were fun to make and they came out adorable, don’t ya think?

Another simple one.

Peanut Butter Cups

You will need:

Mini cupcake wrappers and cupcake tin/pan to help create the shape

Nonstick spray to spray wrappers with

Top layer:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon agave OR maple syrup will work I’m sure

2 tablespoon cacao powder

Bottom layer:

2 tablespoons peanut butter OR almond butter

1 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon agave OR maple  syrup

Prep:

Mix together ingredients for top layer in one bowl and ingredients for the bottom layer in another separate bowl. Pour bottom later in cupcake wrapper in cupcake pan and then pour the top layer right over. Put in the freezer to set up. I think I left mine in for at least 30 minutes!

And then you can either enjoy them as is or use with other recipes as toppings maybe. The night after I made these, I had some raw ice cream. You know I used a peanut butter cup for a topper! It was perfect!

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And the Raw Ice Cream is perfect just by itself, too. So easy peasy!

Raw Ice Cream:

Slice up one (or as many as you’d like) banana and place in the freezer until frozen or REALLY cold. Then take out of the freezer and put in food processor and blend until creamy like the ice cream man would do it. Done.

So, you got three desserts in one post! Have fun with that!

Life is short, eat dessert first…especially if its raw or vegan dessert! Ha!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Waffles & Cream

Happy Monday!

I decided to try to post one blog each day except for Sundays. I figured that would be my day of blogger rest. 🙂

But, that does not mean that’s my day to rest completely. For, I was busy experimenting with some new recipes that will make your eyes dilate and your heart flutter! Stay tuned for those to show up throughout the week.

This morning, I really wanted to show my taste buds a good time, being that it is Monday and all. Sooo0, I pulled out my Nature’s Path Chia Seed waffles and popped ’em in the toaster. Now, they are just fabulous with nothing on them right out of the toaster. Or, sometimes, I smear some Earth Balance butter on them with a drizzle of maple syrup creating the traditional waffle. This morning, however, I added a little more funk to it.

I had bought some delicious looking strawberries from Whole Foods on Saturday and I wanted to make use of them.

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I also had some cashew cream left over from the night before that I made with a dessert. So, I combined the two and came out with this beautiful shade of pink strawberry cashew cream that I chilled in my refrigerator overnight.

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This morning, you should have seen me. I was like a little girl tip-toeing out of bed, trying not to wake the sleeping house, to get my presents from underneath the tree on Christmas morning, as I went into the refrigerator to check out my strawberry cashew cream. I taste -tested a little teaspoon’s worth and it was like electricity ran through my body when it hit my tongue. Oh my!

I grabbed my toasted waffles and I smeared my strawberry cashew cream all over it and cut up some more fresh strawberries and decorated my plate with them. Finally, I sprinkled some coconut flakes all over it. The taste was so fresh and so perfect in every way!

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I have always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I was always skeptical about that phrase when my parents would say it to me…but in this case, I feel that it definitely holds true! 🙂

Now I give you the recipe for cashew cream magic.

This recipe was inspired by ohsheglows.com‘s strawberry nut cream.

1 cup macadamia or cashew nuts, soaked for 2-8 hours

11-12 tablespoons water (I think I used just over 1/2 cup total…add as much for desired texture)

2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

fine grain sea salt (preferred taste)

Blend all of these ingredients together in a food processor and you will have a basic cashew cream. Then, if you want to take things up a notch, add fruit of your choice. I think I may have added like 5-7 strawberries in with about a cup of the cream in the food processor. I think just about ANY fruit would be just divine: strawberries, blueberries, mango, peaches, banana, raspberries…whatever helps you get your inner goddess on!

Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup into the processor with cream also, if you decide to do the fruit. Place the cream in a container and then chill for overnight or few hours. Really, though, it is delicious with no chilling at all. I could have drank down the strawberry goodness cream straight from the jar. Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it! I know I did! 🙂

Light & Love,
Amanda

Waffles & Cream

Happy Monday!

I decided to try to post one blog each day except for Sundays. I figured that would be my day of blogger rest. 🙂

But, that does not mean that’s my day to rest completely. For, I was busy experimenting with some new recipes that will make your eyes dilate and your heart flutter! Stay tuned for those to show up throughout the week.

This morning, I really wanted to show my taste buds a good time, being that it is Monday and all. Sooo0, I pulled out my Nature’s Path Chia Seed waffles and popped ’em in the toaster. Now, they are just fabulous with nothing on them right out of the toaster. Or, sometimes, I smear some Earth Balance butter on them with a drizzle of maple syrup creating the traditional waffle. This morning, however, I added a little more funk to it.

I had bought some delicious looking strawberries from Whole Foods on Saturday and I wanted to make use of them.

IMG_7368

I also had some cashew cream left over from the night before that I made with a dessert. So, I combined the two and came out with this beautiful shade of pink strawberry cashew cream that I chilled in my refrigerator overnight.

IMG_7369

This morning, you should have seen me. I was like a little girl tip-toeing out of bed, trying not to wake the sleeping house, to get my presents from underneath the tree on Christmas morning, as I went into the refrigerator to check out my strawberry cashew cream. I taste -tested a little teaspoon’s worth and it was like electricity ran through my body when it hit my tongue. Oh my!

I grabbed my toasted waffles and I smeared my strawberry cashew cream all over it and cut up some more fresh strawberries and decorated my plate with them. Finally, I sprinkled some coconut flakes all over it. The taste was so fresh and so perfect in every way!

IMG_7363

I have always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I was always skeptical about that phrase when my parents would say it to me…but in this case, I feel that it definitely holds true! 🙂

Now I give you the recipe for cashew cream magic.

This recipe was inspired by ohsheglows.com‘s strawberry nut cream.

1 cup macadamia or cashew nuts, soaked for 2-8 hours

11-12 tablespoons water (I think I used just over 1/2 cup total…add as much for desired texture)

2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

fine grain sea salt (preferred taste)

Blend all of these ingredients together in a food processor and you will have a basic cashew cream. Then, if you want to take things up a notch, add fruit of your choice. I think I may have added like 5-7 strawberries in with about a cup of the cream in the food processor. I think just about ANY fruit would be just divine: strawberries, blueberries, mango, peaches, banana, raspberries…whatever helps you get your inner goddess on!

Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup into the processor with cream also, if you decide to do the fruit. Place the cream in a container and then chill for overnight or few hours. Really, though, it is delicious with no chilling at all. I could have drank down the strawberry goodness cream straight from the jar. Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it! I know I did! 🙂

Light & Love,
Amanda